Many may agree it is one of the most iconic buildings in the world. Overlooking the River Thames, the 12-story translucent crystalline cube atop a colonnade takes its foundations in the Nine Elms district, a district that only a number of years ago was undeveloped and underutilized. The U.S. Government took a leap of faith and trusted that ‘If we build it, they will come.” And come they did. Today, tower cranes soar high above the Embassy, building towers in the sky. The entire area is in the midst of redevelopment with more people working, living and visiting the Nine Elms district than ever before.
It is not often guaranteed that a project will stand out as a showcase within a portfolio for a half century. We knew this project was special from the start. In 2013, BL Harbert International was issued the Construction Contract Award and hit the ground running with site work. For over four years, our teams and partners worked tirelessly to ensure the Embassy would sustain its lasting impact for generations to come. The project achieved substantial completion in December of 2017, and the Embassy was occupied in January 2018.
The site design and surrounding landscape of the Embassy establish a strong framework for the area’s urbanization. The building’s presence gives form to U.S. democratic values of transparency, openness, and equality.
The facility’s pond is at the center of an integrated water system that aims to retain all rainwater that falls on the site and prevent pollution from flowing into local waterways. Additionally, the pond naturally irrigates the surrounding landscape. Captured and treated rainwater is used for mechanical systems and interior garden irrigation.
Inside the Embassy, gardens follow the upward spiral established by the landscape outside. Each garden contains open and elegant stairways. The six interior gardens are each inspired by a different region of the United States, including the Canyonlands, the Gulf Coast, Midwest, the Potomac River Valley, the Pacific Forest, and the Mid-Atlantic. These diverse gardens represent every corner of our country, while proudly thriving in the United Kingdom.
We will continue to fondly reflect on this iconic project and how we helped contribute to the diplomatic mission of the United States Government.